Jamia Millia Islamia, a minority driven university had a dual ideology in the eyes of the non- muslim population of the country for a very long time. Indian mindsets have unfortunately been carved in a way that everything unknown seems dangerous and belief comes in without questioning. Yet, without even questioning, do the leaders put a question mark to the ethical morals that we should live by and we must break through the conflicting societal controversies which are implemented on us through the media and politics at large. Thus breaking the stereotype, a small attempt indeed, would I brief a short and an honest account of how it felt when Jamia Millia Islamia opened its avenues to a non- muslim student from the Delhi University.
THE FIRST GLIMPSE:
Entering through the artistic gates of orange did I see the beautiful architecture of the place merging well with patches of green across and around each corner. The Islamic architecture and dome shaped carvings, the overhanging enclosed balconies or what we call the “Jharokha” system, everything made me think of an era which fascinated me the most. The clean broad tracks to walk on and finely furnished patches of gardens around each nook and corner was a sight that lacks when we talk about the Delhi University. It seemed as if the entire setting had something very sacred in accord to the nature’s call. Gazing through the buildings and looking up in the wide blue sky, with flocks of pigeons flying over me in numbers, resembled a perfect scenery, like love at first sight.
THE STUDENT’S ZONE:
Breathing in such a beautiful environment, undoubtedly the people too would hold passions likewise. Having studied in Delhi University for three long years, yes the contrast was actually very much visible. Never did I ever meet such soft spoken people who invested more in ideas than petty gossips. Walking in thousands with a sense of productive thinking and large scale social activism, the university booms with excellence in political, cultural and ethical scenarios and one can actually feel that the religious bias that everyone talks about in consideration to Jamia is nothing but just a myth. Cutting through the stereotype of “all that shows, glows”, beauty travels through the eyes of women wearing black burqas to the beautiful language that makes you fall in love with each aspect of the campus at large. Respect being the highest element, unlike Delhi University there was nothing “unsafe” about the co-ed environment here.
We’ve all heard stereotypes brewing up everywhere when we talk about Jamia as to how the non- muslim crowd is disgraced out in the open, yet I would just say that one can never judge a book by its cover. The Toyota University Cricket Championship in 2013, with Jamia Millia Islamia’s team being one, set a remarkable example to this notion- who would have thought that a university which was misjudged for deceiving the rights and opportunities of the non- muslim students would actually involve 12 non-muslim players in a team of 15? Breaking the myths, the university stands out as a perfect environment for the national growth.
From language to respect offered to castes and religions, Jamia Millia Islamia acts as a wholesome epitomized version of “unity in diversity” which flourishes through the laughter, tears and strong bonds of inter-religious friendships seen at every hotspot ranging from the hygienic mark café to the respective canteens of each department where people share mutual ideas to foster their understanding.
Jamia Millia Islamia is a socio-politically active central university where people from all walks of life and prominent excellence come together and work for the welfare of the society at large. From large scale protests to mass movements for peace and student welfare does the JSF (Jamia Student’s Forum) and other student organizations work together, voicing out ideas and bringing the change they want to see. Every table where beverages brew up, it’s a common sight that politics and social affairs are discussed. Jamia students are well versed with the world that runs around them, proving out to be budding aspirants and leaders of tomorrow.
Having praised so much about the university, it’s impossible not to change your opinions and give it a second thought. It’s time to break free from what the society asks you to believe and make a conscious effort to experience first. From culture to social activism to the strong bonds that people share, the ambience isn’t biased, rather better and united.